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Oil And Gold
2012-05-23 22:52:09

Spotlight on Iraq Gold as Fog of War Lifts


The recent discovery in Baghdad of what may be one of the world’s largest gold deposits could make Iraq a bigger producer of precious metal than oil, and help it pay its outstanding debt to Western countries stemming from the two Gulf Wars.

What’s more, the gold vein found in an eastern Baghdad neighborhood is expected to increase the area’s real estate prices with the influx of hundreds, if not thousands, of gold seekers, according to a report by

As Iraq — with one of the world’s largest untapped oil deposits—continues to increase its oil production output for export, the discovery of large quantities of gold changes the economic landscape for the Middle Eastern country, noted James Méndez, president of Méndez Internet Management Services, an authorized money service business and Iraqi currency broker based in Puerto Rico.

“This means that in addition to large quantities of oil, Iraq will have one of the world’s largest gold deposits, which ensures the country will have plenty of money to pay its debts and to cover the cost of the upcoming revaluation of its currency, which should happen soon,” Méndez told CARRIBEAN BUISNESS online.

Mining operations continue in the upscale Aldajh area after the discovery of the existence of large quantities of gold in the soil, reported Wednesday.

For more than two years, exploration and drilling have been going on under the streets in the region, extending from Fudhaliyah to Obeidi, where low-lying water channels are used for the diversion of rainwater during flood seasons.

The drilling operations extend for several meters deep into the earth, except for longitudinal drilling spanning more than ten kilometers (6.2 miles), the online report said.

So far the mining has raised thousands of tons of earth, which has been set aside in order to extract the gold particles, the report said.

Gold Rush in Iraq

By Mad Hedge - Fund Trader

There is a Gold Rush Underway in Iraq, with major implications for the rest of us. The success of the recent oil auctions in Iraq is creating a windfall for American oil services companies.

Schlumberger (SLB), Baker Hughes (BHI), Weatherford (WFT), and Halliburton (HAL) have committed to drilling 2,500-3,000 new wells per year and building new pipeline and shipping terminal infrastructure that could make Iraq the world’s largest oil exporter. The value of these contracts may reach a massive $60 billion over the next six years, and could generate $1 billion in new revenues for each company per year.

Two offshore terminals are already under construction, and another two are on the drawing board. If successful, the project will boost the country’s oil production from the current 2.5 million barrels a day to 12 million b/d by 2016.

Iraq’s oil production peaked at 3 million b/d in 1979, and then went to nearly zero after it invaded Iran. I remember those days well, as I was issued a visa to accompany Saddam’s troops to Tehran, only to see it cancelled when the Iranians were able to mount a counter offensive. I still have the dessert camos and telephoto lenses need to cover the desert war, although the pants, regrettably, no longer fit.

Iraq’s oil industry never recovered. UN sanctions limited the regime to minimal “official” exports that covered humanitarian imports like baby food and drugs. Tanker trucks smuggled out through Jordan what they could, with the proceeds going directly to Saddam’s family. When the US invaded, bails of hundred dollar bills were found stashed in private homes, the proceeds of these black market deals.

American oil engineers were shocked by the poor state of Iraq’s energy infrastructure after 40 years of neglect. It all has to be rebuilt from scratch. If the new Iraqi government can provide the necessary infrastructure, and stabilize the political and security environment, it will become one of the largest changes to the landscape for international trade in decades.

Those are all very big “ifs”. It will dump another Saudi Arabia’s worth of crude on the market. It will also go a long ways towards meeting China’s insatiable demand for oil, as well as that of other emerging economies, and put a long term cap on prices.

Of course, this is the scenario that antiwar activists and conspiracy theorists feared eight years ago, but no one thought it would take so long to play out. With an oil man as president, a vice president from Halliburton, and a secretary of the army from Enron, who can blame them.

Early in the planning of the war there was an expectation the US could defray some cost of the war with newly freed oil exports. I know, because I was there, my eight years in the Persian Gulf earning me an appointment as an outside consultant. I bailed when I saw the whole project was hopeless. Ever notice that Iraq’s oil industry was never targeted during either gulf war? These are usually prime targets in modern warfare.

This is so important that I can’t believe no one else is talking about it.  Yes, I know you’ll feel guilty making money off of a pariah stock like Halliburton, but you can always donate your profits to the Sierra Club